Bloggers, Influencers Visiting Belize – Will It Work For You

Let’s start with this:  An influencer is the individual whose can effect a purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative.

I’ve been getting this question more and more from business owners in Belize.

“I recently received an email from a travel blogger, asking me for a free week’s stay for his family.  What should I do?”

And clearly I am not completely unbiased in this field but I DO think that working with a “influencer” can be one of the best ways to advertise if you do it right.  I LOVE reading blogs when I travel…or when I shop.  I can spend an hour a day flipping through photos on Instagram looking at beautiful places and things.  But in the end, this is OH SO personal – to your business and your needs…

But I have a opinion.

It goes a little something like this:

If you check on Instagram – my favorite sharing medium and perhaps the most influential for spreading one’s brand around the globe – you’ll see that there are lots of bloggers visiting Belize these days.  Travel bloggers and lifestyle bloggers – INFLUENCERS.

I LOVE seeing Belize from the perspective of visitors – especially those that take gorgeous photos.

Oneika the Traveler (Instagram OneikaTheTraveler) at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye

Javon Alvin’s AWESOME video about visiting the Phoenix on Ambergris Caye and CocoPlum Resort in the south (Instagram  @javinalvin)

Video:  The Most Beautiful Place You’ve Never Seen

Brazilian Influencers (Instagram: Vamospraonde) recently sponsored by the BTB

It’s a great question and a very tricky and highly personal one – AND I think it can be some of the best, cheapest advertising around – but only if you pick the right match.

Here are some suggestions from me.  I’d love to know what you think.  Ask for the numbers.  How many readers do they have, followers on FB, Instagram and other social media outlets that are important to your business.  Take a look at their stuff…does it speak to who YOU want to speak to?  Will they reach people that you are unable to reach in your advertising?

Talking to 400,000 Vegans in Sri Lanka (I used a random country generator – I’m not against Sri Lankan bloggers) is a huge number!  But do you think any of them will visit you?  Maybe their audience is smaller but it is an audience that you want to reach?  Perhaps check out a post they did on another hotel – is that how you would like to be portrayed?  Do they seem credible?

And maybe ask what they plan on publishing for you.  One instagram photo that is seen for a day or two?    Content on their website or a video that can be a reference – and link – on the internet for years to come?  It’s up to you.

If they are staying at your hotel, what do you want them to associate with it?  You know your brand best!  The gorgeous beach?  A trip to the Blue Hole?  A golf cart ride to show how easy it is to get around from your hotel?  A sunset dinner by the water…a massage?

I could go on for a while but this is all up to you.  All I know for sure is that the right fit could be fantastic for your brand.

I’d love to know what you think.

 

 

 





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  • FJL

    Call me selfish, but asking for a free week’s stay seems a bit much. San Pedro is a paradise for you and your fellow Islanders as well as myself when I can afford to visit. Anyone can use Duck Duck Go and find great pix and wonderful blogs like yours. A discount for a little positive press is OK, but do I want the whole world descending upon the island because a few pix went viral…Not! Ambergris can’t host a ‘Running with the Bulls’ or Mardi Gras or Carnaval. It can be a laid back release for the knowledgeable tourist, and their are plenty to help it thrive economically. Remember the now oxymoronic ‘Secret Beach’? Stay slow, please.🌕 🌴🐢🐠🌺

    • I agree with the week stay – 2 nights, to me, is the perfect chance to get the feel of the resort – and the immediate area – and maybe go on a tour. If you work with an influencer – I think you want to get as much of the good stuff included in the blog about you. My hotel sent this traveller to these 2 places and I loved it all.

    • Though thinking about it for a few more minutes – I would house certain bloggers/writers/influencers for a week – or more. Say the New York Times contacts me about Belize – wants to do a full travel section feature on blogging about the country. Or wants to write about your resort and how one can EASILY spend one week there enjoying Belize. Or…maybe the Mashable. Or…say…I dunno…the Kardashians. For some, that would TOTALLY be worth it. You might want to add in free flights and more. Many bloggers are paid to go on press tours. Sigh…I wish I was one of them 🙂

  • rjhawkins

    When I first started writing about movies, the studios would fly me to New York from San Diego first class, put me up at The Plaza and book dinner at 21. (The was one scenario. It varied.) I even shared a limo with an actress to the opening of her movie. The studios would bring in dozens of writers from all over North America (sometimes the foreign press, if the movie was big enough). For the studios, it was actually economical to shuttle writers, stars, directors and others to one place to create publicity.
    I loved it and I always felt a bit dirty when the schmooze was over. Did it compromise my writing? Probably. Sometimes. I tried really hard to not let the lush life influence my opinion and I pannned more than one pic.
    Most newspapers were on the Hollywood gravy train. Some writers never went home — jumping from junket to junket. They were the worst, expecting treatment above the first class pampering that we all got. They were the first to sniff at food they weren’t even paying for.
    The biggest newspapers covered their own expenses and eventually mid-size papers like mine began to do the same. We went on fewer junkets and sometimes stayed at lower-priced hotels but I sure felt better. Additionally, I was a full-time salaried writer who was paid to be objective, informative, accurate and interesting (mostly in that order). My pay didn’t depend on whether I loved or hated a movie. I could care less what a studio thought of my opinion.
    If you were a good writer and if your criticism was sound — and your circulation was large enough — the studios wouldn’t “punish” you by not inviting you to the next big movie or limiting access to big stars. I saw them try to bully freelancers and writers for smaller publications. But back then, there were a finite number of people writing entertainment and studios craved their attention.
    That has changed with the internet. There are now more writers and ersatz writers than specs of sand on a beach. Audiences have changed too.They are smaller, dispersed, specialized, fickle — fleeting eyeballs looking for the next big piece of information and loyal to no one writer.
    Writers who are in it strictly for the bennies — a free week here or there, an otherwise unaffordable once-ina-a-lifetime experience, freebies obsessed — are the parriah they have always been. They are guns for hire and dishonest to their readers. You can spot their unfiltered gush from a mile away. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is always magnificent, 24-7. (You can almost smell the fear in their prose, that one negative will bounce them from the game.)
    There are writers who can cop a freebie and still write about it honestly, the good and the bad. Picking them out of the crowd though is tough on readers looking for content to believe in.
    The New York Times once had a policy of refusing any freelance work that was not paid for entirely by the writer. Especially entertainment, food and travel. I don’t know if they still do that but they existed on a higher ethical plane than any other media.
    The most we should hope for today is that a writer list at the end of a story who prodived transportation, accommodations and other freebies so that readers can legitimately compare that information against the author’s text.
    (This writer has a great deal of respect for the opinions and information found in San Pedro Scoop and seeks out Scoop’s writing when looking for information on living it out in Belize. Scoop has provided no gratuities for this opinion. I is soley my own. 🙂 )

    • 🙂 What I most hope for is lots of photos. It’s pretty easy to crop and prettify photos but if there are a bunch of them…I think you can get the real feel for a place. Or see what I would like and what I wouldn’t.

      They can gush all they want about the all-you-can-eat buffet or the in room jacuzzi tub with huge tv…but I’m gonna know that just isn’t my thing.